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The State of Food and 
Nutrition in Montana 


Montana State Advisory 
Council on Food and Nutrition 

Our Vision: 

To lead and facilitate 

the creation of an optimal 

food and nutrition environment 

for all Montanans 

A letter from the State Advisory Council on Food and Nutrition 

February 18, 2005 

The Honorable Brian Schweitzer 
Governor of IVIontana 
State Capitol 
Helena, MT 59620 

Dear Governor Schweitzer: 

The State of Food and Nutrition in Montana is a matter of enormous significance to the 
health and safety of the people of the state, as well as to the state's economic potential. On behalf of 
the State Advisory Council on Food and Nutrition, we are pleased to present to you our annual 
report on the State of Food and Nutrition in Montana. 

The Advisory Council serves to provide recommendations to the Department of Public Health 
& Human Services about all food and nutrition programs in the state, about policies that impact 
hunger and malnutrition, ways to promote food and nutrition programs within the private and 
agricultural sectors of Montana's economy and to educate the public about the strong relationship 
between nutrition and health. With representation from public and private food programs, the 
Department of Agriculture, other State agencies, and the food industry, this group of dedicated 
people have come together to study multiple food and nutrition needs in Montana and find realistic 
and long-term solutions. 

This report shows that hunger and lack of food security are on the rise in our state. Poverty 
has increased in the past three years. The number of children living in poverty has grown. 
Emergency feeding sites such as food banks have become the norm for a growing number of 
working poor, young families, as well as the disabled and elderly populations. The public food 
programs provide a valuable resource with nutritious foods; however, they do not reach all in the 
population who need them. 

The report also describes efforts made by various programs to provide nutrition education, 
expand services and try to reduce barriers to access programs. Their efforts to improve food and 
nutrition in the state are truly commendable. 

Governor Schweitzer, we urge you to bring forward any areas of concerns or need that you 
have, as well as ideas to make measurable improvements in the nutrition and health of our people. 
We must work to eliminate poor nutrition and hunger in our state. 

Thank you, 

Peggy Grimes Minkie Medora 

Chair Vice-Chair 

Montana State Advisory Council on Food & Nutrition 

Table of Contents 

The State of Food and Nutrition in Montana 1 

Programs for Specific Populations* 

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service 3 

Programs administered by tlie Department of Public l-lealtli and l-iuman Services (DPI-II-IS) 

Food Stamp Program 4 

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for 

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 5 

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) 6 

Programs administered by tlie DPI-il-tS intergovernmental l-ieaith Services Bureau (il-ISB) 

Aging Services 7 

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) 

The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) 8 

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) 9 

Programs administered by tlie Office of Public Instruction (OPI) 

School Nutrition Programs (SNP) 10 

Programs administered by Montana State University Extension Service 

Food Stamp Nutrition Education (FSNE) 11 

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) 12 

General Programs 

Food Safety 13 

Montana Food Bank Network 14 

Montana Food Bank Network Advocacy Council 15 

Eat Right Montana (ERM) Coalition/Action For Healthy Kids (AFHK) 16 

General Issues 

Nutrition and Disability 17 

Montana American Indians 18 

2005 Food and Nutrition Awards 19 

Advisory Council Members 20 

*A low-income household with multiple needs may qualify for more than one of the nutrition assistance programs; however, eligibility criteria are different for each program. Applicants 
are encouraged to contact each program for more information. 

The State of Food and Nutrition in l\/lontana 

Montana is considered an agricultural state; but for many, access to good nutrition and adequate food is 
a lifelong challenge. This report is designed to identify current areas of concern in Montana, provide 
ways Montana policy makers can help address those areas, and commend activities in the past year that 
have significantly contributed to the reduction of hunger and the improvement of nutritional status in 

Current Areas of Concern: 

The State Advisory Council on Food and Nutrition has identified two primary 

areas of concern. First, an increasing rate of poverty and declining availability 

of resources to meet this need have resulted in an increased rate of food 

insecurity and hunger in Montana. Second, many low-income people are 

receiving poor nutrition leading to chronic diseases or to overweight and 


Imagine living on 
$18,850 a year witli 
tliree dependents to 
support. Tliis is real 

life for nearly 

126,200 people who 

live in Montana. 

In 2003, the overall poverty rate in Montana rose to 14.2 percent, and the poverty rate for children under 
eighteen rose to 17.5 percent. This represents 126,213 Montana residents, 36,380 of which are 
children. Funding is in short supply and budgets are taking cuts on national, state, and local levels. 
During the last few years, food programs have seen consistent increases in the need for program 
benefits. As poverty levels rise, Montana food and nutrition programs have been unable to meet 
the growing demands for their services. This means many people in need are going hungry. 
In Montana: 

• More than 40 percent of Montana food bank clients have gone without food or skipped a meal 
so others in the family could eat. 

• There was nearly a 200 percent increase in emergency food provided through the Montana 
Food Bank Network from 2000 to 2003. 

• The Food Stamp Program has about 57 percent of all people who are eligible to receive food 
stamps participating in the program. 

• The number of meals served through the Child & Adult Care Food Program has risen from six 
million a year in 1 993 to over eight million in 2003. 

• There are over 20,000 seniors in need of the Aging Services food programs in Montana, but 
because of a funding freeze, only a little over 6,000 of them are served. 

The second area of concern is one that is interconnected with the first. Many low-income children and 
adults receive poor and inconsistent nutrition. This increases their risk for heart disease, 
diabetes, cancer and obesity. Low-income people exhibiting problems related to overweight and 
obesity may elicit the question, "if people are hungry, why are they overweight?" The answer is that the 
types of food that people are able to access are foods that are high in fat and calories, but low in 
essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This is usually because of cost and/or a lack of 
knowledge about healthful diets and lifestyle practices. This type of problem requires not only that low- 
income people are given food and financial support, but are also given the knowledge needed to make 
wise choices with the food dollars available. In addition to health problems and compromised quality 
of life for many Montanans, increasing obesity has caused an enormous financial burden for the 
state. A study in Obesity Researcli (January 2004) showed that Montana had an estimated expenditure 
of $175 million due to adult obesity-related medical costs. Of that number, $4 1 million was for Medicare 
clients and $48 million was for Medicaid clients. In Montana: 

• Obesity rates rose from 8.7 percent in 1 990 to 1 8.8 percent in 2001 . 

• Heart disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of death. Annually, 
2,006 Montanans die of heart disease and 548 die of stroke. 

• More than 30,000 Montanans have been diagnosed with diabetes. 

Ways to Address the Areas of Concern: 

People in need of food security require tine ability to access food and the knowledge to make nutritious 
food choices for themselves and their families. Proactive policy is needed to stop the problem of hunger, 
chronic diseases, and obesity before they start. Collaboration between public and private programs is 
needed to streamline efforts and make the best use of available resources. It is critical for program 
benefits to be available to all people in the state who qualify for them. The programs listed in this report 
are extremely important and are unable to sustain budget cuts. Efforts to promote food security and a 
healthful lifestyle require support and promotion from everyone in Montana (especially policy makers) to 
be effective. Policy makers have many ways they can help address these areas of concern. Some 
suggestions are listed in the table below. 

Support existing activities: 

Support proactive poiicy: 

• Support the measure to increase 
food and benefits for low-income 
people by lifting the ban on food 
stamps and Temporary 
Assistance for Needy Families 
benefits for people convicted of a 
drug felony. 

• Support the cardiovascular 
disease/obesity state plan. 

• Continue to support the crucial 
role that the Montana State 
Advisory Council on Food and 
Nutrition plays in correlating and 
communicating areas of concern 
to the State. 

• Support state funding for 
increasing food stamp outreach 
efforts in order to reach all the 
eligible population, as well as 
bring much needed federal 
dollars into local grocery stores. 

• Use available funds from soft drink taxes, tobacco taxes, 
and tobacco settlement funds to support nutrition and 
physical activity efforts in Montana. 

• Support nutrition and physical activity education in 
schools. The school environment is an ideal place to 
give children the tools they need to develop lifelong 
healthful habits. 

• Support programs that benefit seniors, like Meals on 
Wheels and Aging Services. This is an especially needy 
population that has to makes daily choices between 
buying food and paying for utilities or medication. 

• Encourage communities to provide physical activity 
alternatives for families who want to exercise but cannot 
do so because of weather or limited means. 

• Provide funding for the WIC/Farmer's Market Nutrition 
Program that could provide fruits & vegetables to 
thousands of WIC families (and support Montana 

• Provide start-up funds for schools that start new 
Breakfast Programs. The link between nutrition and 
education is clearly demonstrated. 

Commendations for Achievements: 

While there are still many problems to overcome, many people and agencies have undertaken activities 
in the past year that have significantly contributed to the reduction of hunger and the improvement of 
nutritional status in Montana. Four accomplishments are highlighted here, but most are listed on the 
individual program pages under "Accomplishments." 

1 . The Nutrition Standards of Care for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, the first standards of their kind 
in the nation, were published in Montana in fall 2004. 

2. A recent Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP) cost/benefit analysis (that included 
Montana) found that for every dollar invested in EFNEP training, $8.82 in future health care savings 

3. Commodity foods being offered in the state now include more fresh fruits and vegetables, less fat and 
sugar, and offer greater variety and convenience of use. 

4. Montana is one of the only states that does not requires Food Stamp applicants to list vehicles as a 
resource, which significantly increases the number of needy people that program is able to serve. 

Through a collaborative effort, Montana can positively impact the state of food and nutrition for its 
citizens. The Montana State Advisory Council on Food and Nutrition would like to thank everyone who 
supports efforts to end hunger and promote healthful lifestyles in Montana. 

Programs for Specific Populations 

United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service 


Food & Nutrition Ssrvice 

Program Description, IVIission and/or Vision: 

Vision: To lead America in ending hunger and improving nutrition and liealtli. ^ K I ^ I USDA 

IVIission: To increase food security and reduce fiunger in partnersliip witli 

cooperating organizations by providing children and low-income people 

access to food, a healthful diet, and nutrition education in a manner that ^^^^^^^^^^ 
supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence. 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Food and Nutrition Service oversees state 
agencies that administer a variety of Federal nutrition assistance programs to fulfill its vision and 
mission. Some of the primary programs include: 

Tiiese programs are 

discussed in more detail on 

the following pages. 

The Food Stamp Program is the first line of 
defense against hunger for millions of families. 

• The Food Distribution Program on Indian 
Reservations (FDPIR) provides commodity foods 
to low-income households living on Indian 
reservations and to Native American families living in designated areas near reservations. 

• The Soliool Nutrition Programs, including: 

o National School Lunch Program provides funding and commodity foods to non-profit 

food services in elementary and secondary schools, and in residential child care facilities. 
o The School Breakfast Program operates in more than 72,000 schools and institutions, 

serving a daily average of some 7.4 million children. 
o The Summer Food Service Program bridges the nutrition gap when school is not in 

session, providing meals to low-income children during school vacation periods. 
o The Special Milk Program furnishes milk to children in approved schools, camps, and 

childcare institutions that have no federally supported meal program. 

• The Child and Adult Care Food Program supplies cash reimbursement for meals and 
snacks for eligible children and adults in day care centers, day care homes, and some 
homeless shelters. 

• The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) 
strives to improve the health of low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding and non- 
breastfeeding new mothers, and infants and children up to 5 years old by providing 
supplemental foods, nutrition education, and access to health services. 

• The Commodity Supplemental Food Program distributes food directly to women, infants, 
children and elderly, with food packages tailored to the nutritional needs of participants. 

• The Emergency Food Assistance Program provides commodity foods to States for 
distribution to supplement food stocks of households, soup kitchens, and food banks. 

Target Populations: Low-income households. 

For More Information: 

Web site: 
Lynnae Bright, Officer-ln-Charge 

Bart Bushman, Mountain Plains Regional Community/Faith Liaison 


Programs administered by tine Montana Department of Public Healtt) and Human Services (DPHHS) 

Food Stamp Program 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

The Food Stamp Program is established to aid in ending hunger and to improve nutrition and health. 
It helps low-income households buy the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet and provides 
crucial support to needy households in making the transition from 
welfare to work. 

Target Populations: Low-income households 

Montana is one of 

only a few states to 

exclude vehicles as 



• A simplified application is now available for those who want to apply only for food stamps. 

• Trained volunteers guide individuals through the application process. 

• Certification periods were lengthened from 12 to 24 months for households where all members 
are elderly or disabled and do not have countable earned income. 

• All vehicles are excluded as a resource, and households applying or recertifying for food stamp 
benefits can have the in-person interview replaced with a telephone or home visit interview. 

• Four counties offered food stamp participants a free employment and training program which 
included job counseling and training, referrals to community resources, and supportive service 
dollars to assist in seeking employment. 

• Provided nutrition education to participants through MSU Extension in 30 counties (see page 12). 

Areas of concern or need: 

• There was an 11% increase in program participation from 2003 to 2004. This upward trend 
indicates an increasing number of needy households in Montana. Proactive activities are needed 
to help these households. 




1 20 










2000 2001 2002 20 

03 2004 


■ Public Assist n Non-Public Assist 


$1 60.00 



■ B ■ ■ — ■ 

o Avg/Reclp j 

• To make Montana eligible for high performance bonus money by implementing strategies to 
improve payment accuracy, decrease negative error rate, increase participation rate, and 
increase application timeliness. 

• Increase Montana's current average participation rate (57%) by increased outreach efforts. 

• Work with community partners to increase participation for eligible households. 

• Pursue methods to simplify the program through collaboration with other assistance programs. 

For IVIore Information: 

Tammy Poppe 
Food Stamp Program 
(406) 444-9379 

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and 
Children (WIG) 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children - better known as the 
WIC Program - serves to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 
5 who are at nutritional risk by providing: 

• nutritious foods to supplement diets, 

• information on healthy eating, and 

• referrals to health care. 

45% of Montana 

children under 5 years 

of age are provided 

with benefits through 

the WIC program. 

Target Populations: 

The WIC target populations are low-income, nutritionally at risk: 

• pregnant women (up to 6 weeks after birth or after pregnancy 

• breastfeeding women (up to infant's 1 ^' birthday); 

• non-breastfeeding postpartum women (up to 6 months after the birth of an infant or after 
pregnancy ends); 

• infants (up to 1" birthday); and 

• children up to their 5"" birthday. 


• In State Fiscal Year 2004, the average number of women, infants and children served per month 
in Montana WIC clinics was 21,512, which was slightly higher than the prior year. 

• The WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP) was operated in seven local agencies. 
The total amount for the program was $81 ,933 (including in-kind). 

• Scholarships were provided for 19 local staff to complete college-level nutrition classes. 

• 358 electric breast pumps and 1 286 manual breast pumps were distributed this year. The 
number of local agencies participating has tripled since the pilot project in 2002. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• Expansion funds are needed to increase the number of WIC participants served by the WIC 

• Continue to pursue Operational Adjustment funds to improve the level of nutrition education of 
WIC local agency staff. Each local agency must have services of a registered dietitian available 
by the start of Federal Fiscal Year 2006. 

• Support the continuation and expansion of the provision of breast pumps by WIC local agencies. 
Utilize available food dollars to purchase electric and manual breast pumps, as well as rent 
electric breast pumps. 

• Maximize utilization of limited resources through the streamlining of the provision of WIC services 
throughout the state and the standardizing of documentation procedures. 

For IVIore Information: 

Chris Fogelman, RD 

DPHHS - WIC Program Supervisor 

(406) 444-4747 


Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

CACFP provides reimbursement for serving nutritious meals and 
conducts training for non-residential child and adult care 
organizations. CACFP's mission is to influence healthy lifestyle 
choices by facilitating program participation and compliance, funding 
nutritious meals, and providing effective training. 

Target Population: The CACFP primarily serves meals to children 
up to age 12 who are at or below 185% of the federal poverty levels. 

CACFP currently 

serves over 30,000 

participants at 1 1 5 

centers and 13 

daycare organizations 

in Montana. 


Total CACFP Meals Served 


Federal Year 

Children Served in April of Each Year 

50,000 -p 

40,000 — r~l i—r 

30,000 - 

20,000 — 

10,000 - 

1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 

• CACFP staff provided 14 training sessions for day care centers and collaborated with MT Team 
Nutrition in providing an advanced training session. 

• Collaborated with the DPHHS Public Health and Safety division to distribute toothbrushes for all 
children participating in the CACFP through centers and day care home sponsors. 

• Increased awareness on accessing and implementing nutrition information through training. 

• Implemented an online training course for participating Centers. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• Develop methods to reach parents and educate them on the effects of proper nutrition and 

• Continue marketing the CACFP to increase the number of emergency shelters, childcare centers 
and day care homes. 

• Continue collaboration with the DPHHS Quality Assurance Division/Licensing Division to 
streamline the review process, and to reduce the duplication of services. 

For IVIore Information: 

Camille Randall 

Child and Adult Care Food Program 

(406) 444-4086 



Programs administered by the DPHHS Intergovernmental Health Services Bureau (IHSB) 

Aging Services 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

• The Aging Services Bureau worl<s with local area Agencies on 
Aging, senior centers and other aging providers to deliver Elderly 
Nutrition Programs. 

• The mission of the Senior and Long Term Care Division and its 
Aging Services Bureau is to advocate and promote dignity and 
independence for older Montanans and Montanans with 

• Nutrition programs offered through the Aging Network include 
congregate and home delivered meals, Commodity Supplemental 
Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), nutrition screenings 
Congregate and home delivered meals comprise over 60% of the 

• For many seniors, congregate or home delivered meals represent 
nutritional intake. 

• Commodity items for congregate meals are provided by the IHSB 

Tiiese programs are 

an essential 
component in iielping 

seniors remain 

healthy, independent 

and in their homes. 

Food Program (CSFP), Senior 
and nutrition education, 
overall Aging Services budget, 
a significant part of their overall 

at DPHHS. 

Target Populations: 

• The average age of persons receiving a congregate meal is 74, while the average age for home 
delivered clients is over 76. 

I Congregate meals BHome delivered meals 


• About 1 .7 million meals are served 

• About 34,000 Montana seniors over 60 
receive a meal annually. 

• In conjunction with the IHSB and local 
area food banks, the Aging Network 
serves approximately 8000 low-income 
seniors through the CSFP and SFMNP. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• The average cost per meal is currently 
increasing faster than the average 
contribution rate from participants, 

placing increased financial pressure on local sites to maintain current meal programs. 

• Because of limited federal funds, these programs are not able to serve all low-income seniors 
who could be eligible. 

• The Aging Services budget was reduced for the biennium by $500,000 during the 2003 
Legislature. These funds were replaced by special funds by Governor Martz. Aging Services 
programs face a significant reduction in, or elimination of, services currently offered if these funds 
are not restored by the 2005 Legislature. 

For IVIore Information: 

Doug Blakley 
Aging Services 
(406) 444-7787 

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

• The CSFP provides a monthly food package and assistance to participants. The program covers 
all areas of Montana through fifty-nine distribution sites. 

Target Populations: 

• CSFP serves individuals 60 years of age and older, and children from five to six years old who 
are no longer eligible for the WIC program but whose families still qualify financially. 


• Over 80,000 food packages were distributed from July 2003 
through June 2004 to an average of 6719 persons/month. 

Due to limited funding, 

only 6,728 clients 
could be served each 

month in 2004. 

There are over 20,000 

seniors in need of this 

program in Montana. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• In January 2004 the Montana CSFP client caseload was frozen at 
6,728 participants due to program budget reductions. 

• No new participants or distribution sites were initiated due to 
Montana's assigned caseload for 2004. 

• Promotion of nutrition education and maintenance of waiting lists 
for participation in the program is a continuing need. 

• Work should be continued with the National CSFP Association, area agencies and local agencies 
to promote awareness for the need to increase federal funding for this program. 

For IVIore Information: 

See contact information on page nine. 

The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) 

Program Description, Vision and/or Mission: 

The Food Distribution Program on the Indian Reservation (FDPIR) was created by the Food Stamp 
Act of 1977 and the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 as an alternative to the Food 
Stamp Program because many Native Americans live in remote areas where food costs are 
excessively high and access to food stamp offices and grocery stores is often limited. The 
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services administers the FDPIR nationally. 
Households may not participate in FDPIR and the Food Stamp Program in the same month. 

Target Populations: 

• Low-income American Indian and non-Indian households. 


• Commodity foods now have more fresh fruits and vegetables, less fat and sugar and offer greater 
variety and convenience of use. 

• Each month, participating households receive a food package to help them maintain a 
nutritionally balanced diet. Participants may select from over 70 products, from produce to flour. 

• In state fiscal year 2004 the FDPIR served over 50,000 participants in Montana. 

For More Information: 

See contact information on page nine. 

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides commodity foods tinrougin local food 
banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and other charitable organizations. 

Target Populations: 

• Low Income families, low income and/or homeless individuals. 

TEFAP distributed 
Accomplisliments: q^q^ ^ 5 ^jUjq^ 

• Through a contractual agreement with the Montana Food Bank , , 
Network (MFBN), commodity foods were distributed to over 90 food pounos OT 
banks and food pantries for providing nutritional assistance for commodity fOOd 
home prepared and consumed meals. items in 2004. 

• The state agency contracts with over 80 soup kitchens and I — 

charitable institutions for providing congregate meals to the needy. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• Participation levels at food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens have reached all time highs 
while the federal funding for the TEFAP program has not increased. 

• New soup kitchens and charitable institutions are requesting access to the program putting 
further strain on a limited commodity inventory. 

• Commodity inventories depend heavily on surplus and/or price stabilizing purchases by the 
Department of Agriculture that vary considerably from year to year. 

For IVIore Information on the CSFP, FDPIR, or TEFAP: 

Forest Farris 

Food Distribution, Commodity Warehouse 

(406) 447-4262 


Programs administered by tine Office of Public Instruction (OPI) 

School Nutrition Programs (SNP) 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

The Office of Public Instruction, Division of Health Enhancement and 
Safety, School Nutrition Programs Unit administers seven USDA 
programs: the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast 
Program, Afterschool Snack Program, Special Milk Program, Summer 
Food Service Program, Food Distribution Program, and Team Nutrition 

• There are 280 public and private non-profit schools and residential 
childcare institutions with grades K-12 providing school meals and 
snacks in Montana. 

Linda McCuiiocti. $Eat« Suiierintenderii 

• Provides federal reimbursement and commodity foods for meals served in M™ia'«o"i™»(p,.biicin9>ucta, 

■' WrtW.Q0l.fil 

participating schools and summer sponsors. 

• Monitors and provides technical assistance to school foodservice programs. 

• Provides nutrition education to improve the school nutrition environment. 

• SNP's mission is to ensure that schools provide nutritious meals and 
promote healthy lifestyles through collaborative education and training 
and administration of the USDA's School Nutrition Programs. 

Target Populations: 

• School age children and families; school foodservice professionals and 
personnel (teachers, administrators, and business officials). 

In Montana 72% 
of schools 

provide healthful 
breakfasts to 

children through 

the School 




• Expanded the number of schools implementing policy and procedural 
changes to support healthier school nutrition environments. 

• Was awarded a two-year Team Nutrition Training Grant to help make 
implementation of the new policy in schools easier and more successful. 

• Expanded the number of schools participating in the School Breakfast Program by 22, resulting in 
a 7.5 percent increase in participation. 

• Expanded the number of Summer Food Service Program sponsors by 6 and sites by 18, resulting 
in a 13 percent increase in participation. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• Address the obesity crisis by helping schools make policy and procedure changes that promote 
healthful school nutrition environments. 

• Generate successful methods of increasing participation among at-risk populations, especially 
middle and high school age children. 

• Improve program integrity and access through technology. 

• Increase monitoring and training/technical assistance needs as mandated by Child Nutrition 
Reauthorization with limited resources (personnel and funding). 

For IVIore Information: 

Christine Emerson, Director 

School Nutrition Programs 

(406) 444-2502 


Programs administered by Montana State University Extension Service 

The Montana State University Extension Service is an educational resource dedicated to improving people's lives 
by providing research-based knowledge to strengthen social, economic and environmental well-being of families, 
communities, and agricultural enterprises. 

Food Stamp Nutrition Education (FSNE) 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

In partnership with the DPHHS: Food Stamp Program, IVIontana State University Extension is 
providing nutrition education to the food stamp audience in IVIontana in 30 counties. FSNE provides 
educational programs to low-income individuals and households on healthy food choices, food 
safety, food resource management, and physical activity. Trained paraprofessionals (nutrition 
assistants) provide a series of lessons with practical information and skill-building tips. 

Target Populations: 

• Low-income individuals and households that qualify for food stamp benefits. 

• Youth in Title I schools and in low-income after school and summer programs. 


• Over 20,000 direct contacts were made through series lessons, single programs and 

• Over 30,000 indirect contacts were made through the distribution of nutrition newsletters. 

• Developed food safety protocols for nutrition assistants. 

• Offered nutrition education activities in conjunction with Summer Food Service Programs. 

• Developed brochures for Aging Services (commodity foods for seniors) on using commodity 
foods in recipes and cooking tips. 

• Provided demonstrations to highlight new or little used foods in FDPIR (Food Distribution 
Program for Indian Reservations) warehouses. 

• Formed partnerships with Montana State University, Office of Public Assistance, Team Nutrition 
Program, Summer Food Service Program, Aging Services, and Indian Health Service. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• Collaborating with other agencies to optimize effective programming and to promote consistent 
messages to the public. 

• Establishing FSNE sites on or near Montana Indian Reservations to serve the Native Americans 
at high risk for diet-related disease. 

• Enhancing school-based programs in Title I schools for low-income youth and their parents. 

• Effective, appropriate nutrition education for those individuals with disabilities receiving food 

For IVIore Information: 

Phyllis Dennee, Nutrition Education Specialist 

(406) 994-5702 

Renee Harris, FSNE, State Coordinator 



Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

The EFNEP provides education to low-income families on purchasing and 
preparing food for their families in a nutritious manner with the money, food 
stamps, or other food resources they have available. Trainings are designed to 
teach both the adult and youth participants consistent, positive behavior changes 
in choosing more nutritionally sound diets and managing food budgets. 

Target Populations: 

• Low-income households in Montana. 


For every dollar 
invested in EFNEP 
programming, over 

eight dollars in 
future health care 
savings resulted. 


• A recent EFNEP cost/benefit study in 6 states, including Montana, found that for every dollar 
invested in EFNEP programming, $8.82 in future health care savings resulted. These savings 
have a huge positive impact for Montana. 

• More than 93% of the EFNEP graduates improved their diets. 

• 33% of participants ran out of food less often before the end of 
the month. 

• Taught a series of lessons to nearly 400 adult family members 
to help them stretch their food dollars to feed their families in a 
nutritious manner. 

• EFNEP professionals and paraprofessionals have reached over 
1800 low-income youth between the ages of 5 and 17 with 
lessons about healthier, low-cost food choices, and addressing 
obesity in an effective, practical way. 

• EFNEP staff has worked closely with many community organizations to reach and teach those 
most in need of self sufficiency skills. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• Montana is ranked forty-fifth among states for per capita income, yet studies show that food 
purchased in rural counties is often more expensive than the national average. 

• More than 20% of all Montana children live in poverty, and food security is a problem for many of 
these children and their families. 

• As more family members are employed, less time at home demands more information and skills 
directed to busy parents and children for tasty, fast foods on a low budget. 

For IVIore Information: 

Phyllis M. Dennee 

Montana EFNEP Coordinator, Nutrition Education Specialist 

Montana State University Extension 

(406) 994-5702 


Food Safety 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

The food safety program is a tribal-based training program funded by tine IVISU Extension Service. 
The course is geared towards Native American meat processing facilities, producers and their food 
products. These courses are provided by the Montana Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point 
(HACCP) Training Group and incorporate culturally appropriate application. The mission of the 
program is to provide training and education to assure food safety and prevent food borne illnesses. 

Target Population: 

• Native American small meat processing facilities staff and Native American food producers. 


• Tribal based and culturally appropriate HACCP training. 

• Basic Meal Microbiology Training: A 2-day seminar for technical and production personnel 
responsible for food safety plans within meat processing facilities. 

• A 3-day combined Tribal based HACCP and Basic Meat Microbiology Training. This was a new 
curriculum piloted in Ronan and Billings in the fall of 2004. Mary Cutshall, Director of Small and 
Very Small Plant Outreach, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, has requested this 
curriculum become available to share with other tribal communities and states. 

Areas of Concern or Need: 

• Continued Native American food safety training and support for food production. 

For more information: 

Lynn C. Paul, EdD, RD 

MSU Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist 

(406) 994-5702 


General Programs 

Montana Food Bank Network 


Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

The Montana Food Bank Network's mission is to work to eliminate hunger in 
IVIontana through food acquisition and distribution, education and advocacy. 
The goal is to help local agencies return to their original mission as a vital part 
of their community providing emergency food for households. 

Target Populations: 

• Low-income people of all ages. 


In 2004, the Network provided nearly 7 million pounds of food to low-income households across 
Montana through its 144 local hunger relief agencies. 

• The Network's association with America's Second Harvest, a national network of food banks, 
allows access to food not otherwise accessible to our state. 

• The Canning Program operated by the Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN) at Montana State 
Prison offers the opportunity to accept produce at the end of its useful life and repackage the 
product through the canning process for distribution through hunger relief agencies statewide. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• There was a 14% increase in the number of 

households using local hunger relief agencies. The 
need for food pantries and other feeding programs 
has significantly increased. This change results in 
the need for more nutritious food for these 
agencies to distribute. 

The MFBN supplements the 
food needs of local communities 
at varying levels. Most of the 
larger communities have local 
resources and may only utilize 
the Network for 2-5% of their 
food needs, while other 
communities depend on the 
MFBN to meet 75-1 00% of their 

The MFBN must not remain in 
our current condition as "the 
grocery store for the poor," but 
fulfill the Network's mission of 
helping local agencies to support 
their local area independently. 

There was a 

increase in 

the amount of 




hunger relief 


during the 

last year. 

Number of Children, Adults and Seniors 
using local food relief agencies 

Number of Households Utilizing 

Local Food Relief Agencies 

from 2000 to 2003 



o 109000 





For IVIore Information: 

The Montana Food Bank Network 
(406) 721-3825 or (800) 809-4752. 


Montana Food Bank Network Advocacy Council 

Program Description: 

The Food Policy Council (FPC) is the advocacy committee of the Montana Food 
Bank Network (MFBN). Members of the council work in partnership with other 
advocacy groups, the state food stamp director, representatives of the MFBN 
board, staff, as well as Congressional representatives. The FPC is a member of 
the Western Anti Hunger Consortium, a group representing 10 western region 
states working to improve food security. 

Target Population: 

• Low-income people of all ages who are in need of food security through 
various programs. 

More than 40% 

of food bank 

clients have 

gone without 

food or skipped 

a meal so that 

others in their 


might eat. 

Survey participants' rating of reasons for needing 
food assistance 


• The Food Policy Council of the MFBN conducted a survey of clients in food banks in July 2004 at 
7 food pantries in Helena, Kalispell, Plains, Roundup, Ronan, Wolf Point, and Hamilton; state 
agency staff and volunteers. 

• Survey coordinators interviewed 342 clients, representing 1 ,045 household members, of which 
420 were children 18 years and under. 

Areas of concern and need: 

According to the Network's survey, 

• 83% reported that this was not 
the first time in the last 12 
months they received 
emergency food. 

• 45.9% of households, 
representing 547 household 
members were receiving food 
stamps. Of those, 64% needed 
additional emergency food. 

• 1 in 15 households were 
homeless. 2.6% of households 
with children were homeless. 

• 44.2% of households have at 
least one adult working, and 
25.4% of primary wage earners 
had more than one job at the 
same time in the last year. 

• 75.5% of households with no employment reported that a health problem (disability, poor health, 
or injury) was a reason for not working. 

• 26% of the clients had no other sources of income to assist them. 

For more information: 

M inkle Medora or Kate Bradford 
Montana Food Bank Network 

Low wage/fixed income 






Food stamps late/ran out 

Repair bills 

Public assistance cut 


I I 

I I 

I I 

I I 











Eat Right Montana Coalition (ERIVI) 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

The purpose of this coalition is to promote health for all Montanans 

through a variety of activities that encourage optimal nutrition, 

fitness, and wellness. Eat Right Montana (ERM) emphasizes 

collaboration in order to meet its goals and has a diverse range of 

partners, from private entities like the Big Sky Girl Scout Council to g^/ijj RIGHT MONTANA 

government agencies like the Montana Department of Public - — . , ,, — : , , ,^ , 

Health and Human Services. 

• ERM's vision is optimal health through nutrition, fitness and wellness for all Montanans. 

• ERM's mission is to endorse and support efforts to improve Montanans' health through nutrition 
and fitness; promote the vision of ERM; develop, disseminate and market ERM themes and 
educational campaigns; and seek collaborative partnerships. 

Target Populations: 

All Montanans 


Distributed Healthy Families Media Packet to 150+ media outlets reaching an estimated 

140,000+ Montana households per month. 

Partnered with Montana Cardiovascular Program to offer mini-grants to promote fruit and 

vegetable consumption. 

Partnered with Montana Team Nutrition Program to provide mini-grants to promote better nutrition 

and physical activity in schools. 

Partnered with Big Sky State Games in providing accurate nutrition information to participants in 

the Siiape Up Montana statewide challenge. 

Partnered with Montana Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics in distributing 7,000 "Fit 

Kids=Happy Kids" posters to Montana schools, agencies, and programs. 

Through support from an Action for Healthy Kids grant, provided mini-grants to school parent 

organizations to create healthier school environments. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• Health Promotion and disease prevention through education and community activism. 

For l\yiore Information: 

Debi Miller, MS RD 

Eat Right Montana Coalition 

(406) 994-5641 


^ZL&ction far Healthy Kids 


General Issues 

Nutrition and Disability in IVIontana 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

Nutrition and disability is not a topic that is addressed by just one program. IVIany programs 
tiiroughout the state work with people with disabilities. 

Target Populations: 

• People with disabilities in Montana. 


• The Disability Advisors Project was initiated by the Montana Disability and Health Program 
(DPHHS and University of Montana Rural Institute) in 2004. This Project identifies, trains, and 
assigns Montanans with disabilities to serve as advisors on a 

IVIontana is the first in 

the nation to develop 

and publish nutrition 

care standards for 

people with 


variety of health-related citizen advisory boards. 

• The Nutrition Standards of Care for Adults with Intellectual 
Disabilities, the first standards of their kind in the nation, were 
published in Montana in fall 2004. They are intended to be a 
working document for policy makers, health care providers, and 
consumers and their families. 

• An avenue for gathering feedback from Montanans with disabilities 
on food and nutrition-related services problems, utilization and 
needs was explored via the 2004 Hunger Study by the Food Policy 
Council of the Montana Food Bank Network. Of the 1 ,045 household members represented in the 
study, 159 were disabled. The study was conducted at seven food banks around the state 

• Five of the 1 3 Montana State Food and Nutrition Awardees for 2003 were honored, in part, for 
their work with persons with disabilities. 

• Nutrition support materials, including menus, meal plans, a recipe book, and shopping organizers, 
were pilot tested in four Montana group homes in 2004. This was a project of the Montana 
Disability and Health Program. 

• Nutrition education and awareness were objectives for the Healthy Eating booth at the Special 
Olympics State Games in May, 2004. Over 350 athletes, coaches, family members, and personal 
assistants received services. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• Use new Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data to describe nutrition 
behaviors, health disparities, and monitor changes to Montana's nutrition services and programs 
among people with disabilities. 

• More efforts are needed to increase awareness of serving persons with disabilities adequately in 
the public and private food and nutrition programs in Montana. Priorities include making services, 
facilities, and materials more accessible to Montanans with a variety of disabilities. 

• Continued need for Food and Nutrition Advisory Council participation in advising on healthful 
diets for Montanans residing in assisted living situations. 

For IVIore Information: 

Kathy Humphries 

Rural Institute on Disabilities 



Montana Native Americans 

Program Description, Vision and/or IVIission: 

The Native American population is one that has significant challenges related to food and nutrition. 
While the Advisory Council on Food and Nutrition feels that this population needs recognition in this 
report, obtaining generalized data on Montana Native Americans is difficult. For the purposes of this 
report, the Council will rely on two sources: the Billings Area Indian Health Service (IHS) web site 
and the Adapted Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) Surveys of Montana 
American Indians 1999, 2001, 2003. 

The IHS Office in Billings, Montana, oversees the provision of comprehensive health care services 
to over 50,000 Indian people on seven reservations in the State of Montana and one in the State of 
Wyoming. In Montana, there are Service Units on each of the following reservations: Blackfeet, 
Crow, Fort Belknap, Flathead, Fort Peck, Northern Cheyenne, and Rocky Boys. The Indian Health 
Service also operates three hospitals on the Blackfeet, Crow, and Fort Belknap Reservations. 

Target Populations: 

• Native American people living in Montana. 

Areas of concern or need: 

• According to the Adapted BRFSS Surveys of Montana American Indians 1 999, 2001 , 2003 
(Montana DPHHS), rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity have risen steadily from 

Prevalence of obesity (by age) of Native Americans living on or 
near the seven Montana reservations, 1999-2003 





-. 18-44 

• - - 45+ 


Time period 


• According to the Billings Area Indian Health Service Web site 
( http://www.ihs.qov/FacilitiesServices/AreaOffices/billinqs/index.asp) , diabetes and hypertensive 
disease are two of the five leading causes of outpatient visits for their area. 

• The median household income for the Billings Area IHS is $14,249, compared to the overall 
average U.S. income, which is $30,056. 

• Indian families living below the poverty level are most likely living in sub-standard housing, have 
poor nutrition, and must contend with other everyday hardships that are harmful to their health 
and overall well-being. 

For IVIore Information: 

To reference the IHS information used on this page: 


Billings Area Indian Health Service 

2900 4th Avenue North 

Billings, MT 59101 



2004 Food and Nutrition Awards 

The Advisory Council on Food and Nutrition lias recognized the following individuals for their outstanding 
activities in the past year that have significantly contributed to the reduction of hunger and the 
improvement of nutritional status in Montana. 

> Bruce Brown, Glendive, for his work with Action for Eastern Montana. 

> Todd Fiske, Superintendent at West Valley Elementary in Kalispell, for successfully 
implementing the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program in his 

> Cindy Giese, Food Service Supervisor, Lewistown Public Schools for expanding the 
breakfast and lunch programs and using innovative methods to improve the school nutrition 

> Hamilton Senior Center, Hamilton, for its efforts to improve the nutritional status of local 

> Candice Heclter, Director of Custer County Food Bank, Miles City, for her work in expanding 
the food bank services, securing funding, and developing community support. 

> Walter Henley, Program Manager for the Senior Nutrition, Commodities and Transportation 
Rocky Mountain Development Council, Helena, for ensuring nutritious meals are available for 
seniors in the surrounding counties. 

> Mary Ellen Holverson, dietitian with Rocky Mountain Development Council, Helena, for her 
successful efforts to expand the Summer Lunch Program and better serve needy children in 
the Helena area. 

> Joe and Margaret Juneman, for their volunteer efforts with the Thompson Falls food pantry 
and oversight of a community garden project. 

> Barbara Kelly, Marilyn Marnin and Monica Patterson; EFNEP nutrition assistants in 
Yellowstone County, for helping low-income facilities prepare nutritious meals while stretching 
their food resources. 

> Libby K-12 Public School District and Libby Community for improving the District's ability to 
offer nutritious meals and to model healthy lifestyle behaviors to its students. 

> Barbara Ludeman, Missoula EFNEP nutrition assistant, for obtaining funding for EFNEP 
activities and for her partnerships with other Missoula agencies. 

> Mary McClammy, Superior, for her volunteer work with the Mineral County Food Bank and 
the Superior Senior Citizen Center. 

> Karmen McKinney for her work with the Eureka Commodity Supplemental Food Program. 

> Lt. Steve Staneart, commanding officer of The Salvation Army, Helena, for establishing a 
Free Take-Out Meal program at the Salvation Army. 


Council Members Montana state Advisory Council on Food and Nutrition l\/!ember List 

Senior Nutrition 

Doug Blakley 
DPHHS -Aging Services 
111 Sanders, Room 210 
Helena IVIT 59604 
Phone: (406) 444-7787 
Fax: (406) 444-7743 

iVISU Extension 

Pliyllis Dennee 

IVIontana State University Extension 

101 Romney Gym 

Bozeman IVIT 5971 7 

Phone: (406) 994-4581 

Fax: (406) 994-7300 


Kim Mondy 

DPHHS - Nutrition Section 

Cogswell Building, 1400 Broadway 

Helena MT 59620 

Phone: (406) 444-2841 

Fax: (406) 444-0239 

Scliooi Nutrition 

Christine Emerson 
School Nutrition Programs 
Office of Public Instruction 
P.O. Box 202501 
Helena MT 59620-2501 
Phone: (406) 444-2502 
Fax: (406) 444-2955 

Food Banl< 

Peggy Grimes 

IVIontana Food Bank Network 

5625 Expressway 

Missoula MT 59802 

Phone: (406)721-3825 

Fax: (406) 542-3770 




Minkie Medora 
645 Evans 
Missoula, MT 59801 
FAX: 406-542-3770 

Food Distribution 

Gordon Davidson 
Forest Farris 

DPHHS - Food Distribution 
Commodity Warehouse 
1400 Carter 
Helena MT 59601 
Phone: (406) 447-4262 
Fax: (406) 447-4287 

Food Safety 

DPHHS - Food and Consumer 


Cogswell Building, 1400 Broadway 

Helena MT 59620 

Phone: (406) 444-2057 

Fax: (406) 444-4135 

Food industry 

Lynn Paris 

Healthcare Business Development 

and Training Manager 

Sysco Food Services of Montana 

1509 Monad Road, P.O. Box 31 198 

Billings MT59107 

Phone: (406)247-1168 

Fax: (406)247-1975 

iVIontana Department of 

Angelyn DeYoung 
303 North Roberts 
Helena MT 59620 
Phone: (406) 444-2402 
Fax: (406) 444-9442 

IHeaithi Promotion 

Crystelle Fogle 

DPHHS - Cardiovascular Health 


Cogswell Building, 1400 Broadway 

Helena MT 59620 

Phone: (406)947-2344 

Fax: (406) 444-7465 


Pubiic Assistance 

Tammy Poppe 

DPHHS - Food Stamp Program 

Cogswell Building, 1400 Broadway 

Helena MT 59620 

Phone: (406) 444-9379 

Fax: (406) 444-2547 

iVIontana Association of WiC 
Agencies/IHeaitliy Famiiies 
Nutrition Coaiition 

Cheryl Kikkert 

Nutrition and Disabiiity 

Kathleen Humphries 
Rural Institute on Disabilities 
University of Montana 
52 Corbin Hall 
Missoula MT 59812 
Phone: (406)243-2515 
Fax: (406) 243-2349 

USDA-Food & Nutrition Service 

Lynnae Bright 

low. 15* St., Ste. 1500 

Helena MT 59626 

Phone: (406)441-1190 

Fax: (406) 441-1195 

Cliiid & Aduit Care Food Program 

Ann Hagen-Buss 
Cogswell Building 
1400 Broadway 
Helena, MT 59601 
Phone: (406) 444-2674 
Fax: (406) 444-2547 

Peer Advisor/Low-income 

Mary Millin 

Peer Advocate 

Summit Independent Learning Ctr. 

316 N.3'^ 

Hamilton, MT 59840 

Phone: (406) 363-5242 

Fax: (406) 375-9035 

The Montana State Advisory Council on Food and Nutrition would like to express their deep appreciation to 
Kim Pullman R.D., Office of Public Instruction, for her immense efforts in putting this report together. 


For more information on the work of the IVIontana State Advisory Council on Food and Nutrition, contact the chair, 
Peggy Grimes, at (406) 721-3825, IVIissoula, IVIontana. This report can be viewed on-line at . 

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services attempts to provide reasonable accommodations for 
any known disability that may interfere with a person participating in any service, program or activity of the 
Department. Alternative accessible formats of this document will be provided upon request. For more information, 
call (406) 444-5508. 

Montana State Advisory Council on Food and Nutrition 

c/o Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services 

Cardiovascular Health Program 

Cogswell Building 

1 400 Broadway 

Helena MT 59620-2951 


Department of Public Health & Human Services